For some time, the notion of installing solar panels has been a hot topic among American homeowners — and Texas is no exception in that regard.
The laymen’s consensus is that solar energy panels are great at cutting down on your expenses — but how does all of this actually work? Is it worth it to make this sort of investment in your home? We’ll explore the advantages of solar energy in Texas thoroughly below!
The Economics of Solar Panels in Texas
During a previous couple of years, solar energy and panels have become a part of mainstream culture. There are a couple of facts that just about everyone knows about solar energy:
- It really works
- It’s trustworthy
- It pays off
- It’s eco-friendly
These four things are enough for a lot of people to be convinced of the advantages of solar energy in Texas.
But many remember reading about solar panels more than ten years ago and deeming them too expensive for the average homeowner.
What has changed since then, and why is solar energy in Texas suddenly more affordable?
Affordable Solar Energy
In reality, this isn’t something that’s specific to Texas; it’s the consequence of a trend that’s been going on since 2009 all across the country. In that year, the price of manufacturing a solar panel started dropping significantly; in a large part due to the development of bigger manufacturing capacities that allowed a more efficient production cycle.
However, another big factor that led to solar panels in Texas becoming cheaper is the fall of prices on crystalline silicon; the main material used to manufacture a single solar cell.
And because of this, the ROI (return on investment) on any kind of solar energy investment has increased substantially. In the past, the manufacturing cost for a solar panel made up an incredible 60% of the installation expenses; today, that number is down to less than 30% on average.
This sort of affordability has made solar energy viable for the average Texan homeowner — especially when we consider the safety of the investment. In fact, think about it — any kind of energy investment depends on the source of energy. And what’s more secure than the Sun?
In comparison, traditional power companies seem to be a far less secure choice. If you were to move to your new green Texas hometown and decide to go with a power company, that’s an option as well; but you need to bear another thing in mind — price elasticity of demand.
Price Elasticity of Demand
There are many principles and measures that influence and govern supply and demand on any market — and solar panels are no exception in that regard. In this specific example, the price elasticity of demand is something important to understand.
This is a measure that quantifies how changes in price influence the demand for a certain product or service. And yeah, all of that may seem too wordy — so let’s put it in simpler terms.
Let’s say that Netflix changed its price so that their service costs double what it costs now. It’s very likely that people would stop subscribing because that’s just too steep.
Conversely, think about what would happen if oil prices soared in the same manner. Sure, people would be devastated — but most of them would still buy gas for their cars because they need it to get around.
Gas prices have low price elasticity because the changes in prices don’t influence consumer demand — this is mostly true for elementary goods and services, including power.
On the other hand, online streaming services are something people can do without — so such services have high price elasticity because it influences demand substantially.
But how does low price elasticity for power utilities affect solar panels in Texas? It makes them the most secure type of investment when it comes to power.
Sure, buying power from an electrical utility company may be simpler and may require less of an upfront cost; but what’s to stop utility companies from raising their prices in the next ten years? And there would be nothing you could do about it — at the end of the day, you need electricity in your home.
Installing solar panels allows you to be more self-sufficient, and less reliant on external economic factors. This is definitely a long-term investment, but one that is the likeliest to pay off.
Lower Operating Costs
Every home is accompanied by a number of operating costs — including insurance, property tax, maintenance, and payments for utilities. These can vary greatly depending on your home’s location, age, and size.
On average, utility payments represent at least 10% of your annual operating costs — a lot of which consists of your payments to a power company. If you install solar panels in Texas, your costs in this regard will go down significantly over the course of the next five years.
Apart from giving you long-term savings, one of the advantages of solar energy in Texas is the federal tax incentive you get. Since 2015, you can get an energy tax credit as a homeowner who uses solar panels.
If the property where you’re installing solar panels is your residence, the extends up to 26% of your installation costs for the solar panel.
A Greener Environment
Finally, the benefits found in using solar panels in Texas aren’t just related to your personal finances.
At the end of the day, solar power is a form of clean energy — and using it means contributing to a healthier environment and a greener Earth; for both yourself and your children.
There are plenty of advantages of solar energy in Texas and across the country as well — you’d do well to jump on the solar power train as soon as possible!